For me, reviewing sandwiches is my job. It’s what puts food on the table, usually sandwiches for work purposes. When that’s done, I put other food on the table for my family, usually tacos because those are my real passion. My kids complain because they usually just want grilled cheese.
Listen, I’m happy to be the Sandwich Reviewer for Paste Magazine. It’s a title I hold with pride. My wife calls me the “Sandwich Avenger” after I asked her to please stop calling me “Sandwich Hulk.” She tells all her friends “yep, that’s my husband, the Sandwich Avenger.” They have to ask what that means but once they get the backstory, they’re usually pretty impressed.
But I still remember my first taco: it was last year, I tried the Taco Bell™ Doritos® Locos Tacos®™ for the first time. I guess I was kind of late to the scene. I had always been afraid of tacos before, to be honest. Nothing against ‘em, I just felt like I enjoyed sandwiches and burgers so much, why bother trying anything else? Even pizza and cake were rare for me, and those are pretty much the rest of the food types. No, I was strictly sandwiches, suckin’ ‘em down like it was my job. That’s part of the reason it became my job.
Now I feel like I’ve wasted my life. The Sandwich Avenger has been given the assignment of the century: rank the best parts of a sandwich! Some sandwich reviewers work their whole lives not being able to break down the sandwich experience this non-specifically. Now that I’m here, I’ll be honest with you, I wish I were just telling you about all the different tacos I’ve been eating lately.
Anyway onto the show:
THE BEST PARTS OF A SANDWICH, RANKED
Least Good: Bread
I’m starting off with some controversy, sandwich lovers, but if I’m being honest, the bread is my least favorite part of the sandwich. As I’ve always said “a sandwich is more than the sum of its parts.” But listen, we’re breaking down the sandwich experience with this ranking, so something has to go on the bottom. Traditionally that’s where the bread goes, and although for a sandwich bread also goes on top, for the purposes of this list, it’ll just be the bottom spot.
Here’s my reasoning: bread makes you fat. I guess that makes me sound like some kind of “yoga mat avenger” but trust me it’s still the Sandwich Avenger here. Y’all know I love bread. I’m still the same guy who used to wrestle bread away from ducks in the park. It’s just now I look at myself and realize I probably only have 5-10 years before heart failure takes me out, I wonder how necessary it all was.
Tacos don’t need bread to be successful. They use shells. Sometimes they’re crunchy, sometimes they’re soft. Something to think about.
The Inside Stuff
It can’t be a sandwich unless there’s stuff inside it, usually. For the purposes of breaking down the experience of eating a sandwich, I’m lumping together all of that into one category. This is where the generality of this ranking really falls apart.
A sandwich can really vary in quality based on what kind of sandwich you’re getting and the quality of the things, whatever they are. Are you getting a roast beef sandwich? Regular beef? Just a bunch of vegetables? Are they good or bad? Hey man, I don’t fucking know you.
I rank the inside stuff right in the middle because, to me, although the meat-stuff and vegetable stuff is an excellent part of the sandwich experience, it just can’t beat what comes ahead of it in the rankings.
You might think this is a pointless endeavor. Well, in my defense, I have not put a lot of thought into this. If I were reviewing tacos it would be different. I would say “meat” because tacos always have “meat” inside. Unless they’re fish tacos, which I’d rank separately. I think my wife is going to leave me.
If a sandwich were all cheese, I think that would be the best. It’s the one thing I’m really instilling into my children: eat your goddamn cheese. That will be my legacy as a father and as a man.
I love all kinds of cheese. Cheddar, jack, Swiss, bleu. There are few pleasures in life I enjoy more. I’m not mentioning tacos or my deteriorating personal life in this entry. This one is focused on the greatness of one of the very best parts of a sandwich eating experience: cheese. Eating so much of it you feel like you’re going to have a cheese baby. Maybe my cheese children would respect me more than my actual children. Man, I gotta stop going to these dark places mentally. Don’t think about your many mistakes, just think about the different kinds of cheese… okay we’re back on. Cheese is “grate”!
Most Good: Sauces, Condiments, What Have You
I’m one of those guys that is very picky about my hot sauce and other condiments. At night when everyone else is sleeping sometimes I’ll just have a few packets of Arby’s Sauce by themselves, by myself. It helps to fill the hole of despair.
Bottom line is I made my choice a long time ago. I am the Sandwich Avenger. I eat sandwiches and I review them. My heart’s not in it but that’s okay because at the end of the day my heart barely works as it is and I have an excuse to do what I love, which is to eat whatever I want and say it’s for work. Heck, if I were the Taco Avenger, I’d probably still eat sandwiches sometimes. Heck, what do I know, maybe if I were ranking the parts of a taco, I’d be dreaming about sandwiches.
Well, glad I worked through that little psychological crisis. Sorry this wasn’t helpful for you in any way unless it was somehow. Happy eating!
Grant Pardee is a comedian who can be followed on Twitter.